To be a model in New York in 1968-69 was very different for me then modelling in London, Paris or Milan, there I was just booked and here one had to go on “Go sees”, that is go to see the advertising agents and Photographers to see if they wanted to book you as of course I was not known here. When I first came to the Eileen Ford Model agency Eileen told me I should dress differently because to be more commercial one should look like a healthy all American girl “next door” and that was the last thing I looked like. She was right of course but I was not interested to project someone I was not, as for me the way I dress is very important and the only way I really feel good, I was always glad to get out of the clothes I was photographed in and happy to get into my own. Very seldom the clothes were exciting, at least for me with the exceptions of some Bazaar shoots. For my taste it was Bazaar
that was more modern then Vogue in that particular time as for the big magazines, like for everything else, it goes up and down and up again… The pictures I had in my book did not help either, almost all by Helmut Newton who had not yet explored America. Yet I worked with some very good photographers like Bert Stern or Scavullo but both made me feel uncomfortable, the only Photographer that was there at the time I really enjoyed working with was James Moore. He was good, knew what he wanted, super kind, spiritual and relaxed. Worked with him a lot for Bazaar and the Sunday Times colour magazine and whenever he could he also booked me for publicity (my eyes here above is one of them).
James Moore for Bazaar
I also enjoyed working with Cris von Wangenheim,( here for Bazaar)
Everything was different, here you could get booked by the hour, which meant coming to the studio already almost made up and hair more or less done. Yes, yes, we did our own makeup and hair unless it was something special or for a big Magazine and those paid very little, it is prestigious to work for any of them and it will give you eventually more commercial work which compared to today was not that well paid either. To be a top model today is much more exciting then it was in those days, there are some marvellous Photographers around and the clothes have caught up too, everything seems possible now while then everything was quite restricted and a lot of things taboo. I remember going once on a “Go see” to a big advertising agency and I was led into an office where some one looked at my “book” and called someone and in no time there were about 20 people standing there in the doorway pressing to see better, all staring at me with open mouth as if I came from Mars, I was so surprised, thought that was so indiscreet and they never booked me. I never understood that someone in their position did not have the imagination to see you could portray anything, it was my job to be able to change into anything, I am also not that elegant lady photographed by Henry Clark or that Lady in a smashing evening dress and furs driving a Rolls (although that would be nice). The only American photographer I really wanted to work with was Bob Richardson, I liked his pictures almost even more then Helmut Newton’s but he only worked in America in that time so I never had the chance to work with him. Who can forget the beautiful spread he did for Bazaar or Vogue in Greece with Donna Mitchell? Those pictures blew me away and I still remember them. Later in London I worked with Donna and that was a thrill for me as for me she was the most exciting model around. One day I was booked by Richardson and I was all nervous but it was one of these hourly bookings for a publicity so nothing interesting about that except I met him and he liked to work with me, so some time later he booked me for Bazaar! Wow, that was totally different and I arrived happily at the studio, even more happy to see I was the only model for 8 pages and on top of that the clothes were gorgeous and very well styled, forgot the name of the editor but she was really good. Getting ready with hair and make up and then waited and waited till the editor came in to dress me and brought me to the studio where I got on the dark grey paper that was to be used as a background, everything ready but no Bob! After staying there for a while they took me back to the dressing room and took off the clothes again and told me to wait, so I waited and waited, getting a bit paranoid as the hairdresser left and so I was all alone sitting there in that dressing room for hours wondering what was going on… Ok Now it was serious so I got dressed again and again to the studio and indeed after waiting a while Bob came in but he did not look good and everybody looked worried but he started to take pictures although he was falling from left to right and so they guided him away and told me it was over. I was very disappointed but we laughed about it when he came with Angelica Huston to visit us in Paris. So to make a long story short, my heart was not in it, the modelling I mean, there were so many other things, the clothes we designed, the discovery of New York, our baby, friends and everything else.